Ocado reports sales growth in final quarter

Caitlin Morrison
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The grocery delivery service increased sales in the final quarter of 2016

Ocado has reported growth in sales and order numbers during the 16 weeks to 27 November, with year end sales up 15.1 per cent - but shares in the firm dropped almost four per cent at the market open.

The grocery delivery service said group sales were up 14.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, from £381.5m to £436.8m, while retail sales increased 13.1 per cent to £398.1m from 351.8m.

Average orders per week increase 17.6 per cent to 241,000 from 205,000, however the average order size shrank by 2.9 per cent to £105.61 from £108.71.

Ocado has had a bumpy year, facing a number of challenges from rivals such as Amazon. Meanwhile, its agreement with Morrisons changed this year, reducing the fees the supermarket pays to Ocado.

"We are very pleased with the financial performance achieved this year," said Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner.

"The strong growth in sales and order volumes reflects the attractiveness of our retail offer to customers.

"During the period, we were also pleased to announce that we have commenced operations at our Andover CFC. This is the first of our CFCs to use our new proprietary infrastructure equipment solution and software, which will support the ongoing growth of our business."

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